This article claims American Idol is confusing the masses. It explains that the way people saw Clay and Ruben become overnight successes is misleading. I don't believe anyone is confused by this phenomenon - of course American Idol fame is unreal, that's what is so fun about the glorified Karaoke contest.
I don't watch with jealousy thinking, if only I could get Shane to try out for American Idol, everything would be ok. I believe Shane is building a REAL career just outside the mainstream, and I would never even think to suggest that he should go the American Idol route. I watch the show for what it is - good TV, with kids from middle America who are the stars of their respective chorale's having a go at a national audience.